Djokovic shakes off rust, shrugs off Edmund at U.S. Open

Mon Sep 5, 2016 1:38am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic has been starved of competitive action at the U.S. Open but on Sunday the world number one feasted on unseeded Briton Kyle Edmund in a 6-2 6-1 6-4 romp that put him into the quarter-finals.

Djokovic had a second-round walkover as Czech Jiri Vesely withdrew due to injury, and was leading 4-2 in his third-round match when Russian Mikhail Youzhny retired with a leg ailment, making it six days since his last full match.

The Serb kept himself busy on the practice courts but was happy to cut loose against an actual opponent, making 21-year-old Edmund the target of his arsenal of rifled groundstrokes, angled volleys, pinpoint passing shots, lobs and drop shots.

"Feels great to play a match," Djokovic said in an on-court interview. "I haven't played much tennis.

"Baseline shots, both forehand and backhand, were working very well. Think I was most pleased with that."

After two lopsided sets that Djokovic totally controlled, Edmund made the third set competitive, holding for 4-4 before the Serb closed out the set to end the match.

Djokovic's victory put him into the last eight against ninth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 6-3 6-3 6-7(7) 6-2 winner against American 26th seed Jack Sock.

The world number one, who was bothered by a left wrist injury that may have been a factor in his third-round exit from Wimbledon and first-round loss at the Rio Olympics, had his right arm and elbow area treated during a medical timeout at 2-1 in the third set against Edmund, but Djokovic downplayed it.   Continued...

Sep 4, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after his match against Kyle Edmund of Great Britain (not pictured) on day seven of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Djokovic won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports